Logging emits 4 times more carbon than bushfires

There’s 4 times more carbon loss from logging than bushfires. This is from new research presented to the World Parks Congress in Sydney this week from ANU scientist Dr Heather Keith.

“In a [logged] forest, the amount of carbon stored in the regrowth …, plus wood products and landfill, is about half that stored in protected forest … In contrast, only about 10% of the carbon stock in the forest was combusted during the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and most of this will be replaced within a decade in the regrowing forest.”
“Protecting forests by ending logging could double the amount of carbon stored in the trees.” looking up up a big tree Hammonds Rd East Gippsland

“Avoiding emissions from logging native forests is important to help fight climate change.”

New research has found Mountain Ash forests provide more value to the community and the global climate when protected and not logged.

Research scientists at the ANU, in partnership with technologists at Fujitsu Laboratories in Japan, have used long-term field data from the Central Highlands in Victoria to calculate the social, economic and environmental values of the forests after wildfire and after logging.

“Quantifying natural resources and the services they provide for human wellbeing is important in evaluating land management decisions,” said researcher Dr Heather Keith from the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

The results show that natural disasters such as bushfires do not have as great an impact on carbon storage as [logging]the forest.

The research points to the need for land management decisions to be made in partnership with researchers, corporations and the community, to ensure the best economic and environmental outcomes for the greater number of people.

A community proposal is to create a Great Forests National Park in the Central Highlands region of Victoria, which will provide a suite of ecosystem services.

Dr Keith said protecting the forests is a long-term investment because it will secure Melbourne’s domestic water supply catchments, conserve the state’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s Possum as well as many other species, support the maximum storage of carbon,provide conditions to minimise bushfire severity , and also generate economic activity through eco-tourism.

The two research papers are Evaluation of ecosystem services: the case for protection of the Mountain Ash forests in Victori and Protecting natural ecosystems is the best form of climate change mitigation in the land sector.

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